Six Flags Over Texas August 11 and 12, 2019

Monday, August 12, 2019 9:12 PM

I recently returned to Fort Hood from deployment. I'm taking a month leave and heading back home to New York to see family, and I decided to break up my flights and take advantage of being nearby some big parks I've never been too. So first I flew from Killeen to Dallas and stayed a couple nights, and then it's on to Charlotte where I'm going to stay a couple nights there before my flight home to Syracuse. It works out great because both airports are pretty close to the SFOT and Carowinds respectively, so cheap Uber rides!

Anyway, SFOT has some great rides that are new to me and I'd also like to share my thoughts about the nature of the park. I'm not going to do this narrative style because I rode pretty much everything multiple times over the past two days and I must have made a half dozen loops around the park. It was over 100 degrees both days so staying any longer than 4-6 hours felt like a chore, but it was no big deal because the park was pretty close to empty on Sunday and Monday.

The coasters:

La Vibora - I've been on Alpine Bobsled at Great Escape a bunch of times when I was a kid and I don't remember it being so painful. Maybe this version is a bit higher speed; some of those turns really bounce you up and down right on your tailbone hard. It was thrilling in the sense that it was unpredictable in how much the next turn was going to throw you around. It does look like it was painted this year, it's a visually attractive ride with it's snake-style stripes.

New Texas Giant - By far the best ride in the park. It was extremely smooth and at the same totally wild feeling! This is my first RMC. The layout is awesome, the first drop is great but the best part is after the mcbr, when it starts taking short hills at high speed. It's just one ejector after another all the way up to the break run. I preferred the back of the train to the front because of the way you get sucked over the top of those little hills! It really reminded me of T Express at Everland in South Korea (I was stationed there last year). Super smooth, twisted layout, lots of airtime. I know T Express is Intamin, but that was also a great ride.

Titan - My first hyper twister coaster, and its reputation was accurate. The first drop is big, but unfortunately the second hill sucks all the momentum out of it immediately as the train barely makes it up. The helices, though, are wild. I'm not sure I've been on a ride with that intense of G's before. I must have ridden five or six times and every time I got that lightheaded feeling on those parts, like when you stand up too fast and feel faint for a few seconds. Not a bad thing, just a unique experience, though I am grateful the mcbr brings you to a complete stop before going through the second set of helices, they're even more intense. I can't imagine what it was like before they went in and made that change!

Runaway Mountain - Was closed! Both days! For "technical difficulties," which is unfortunate because I was looking forward to an indoor coaster and it would have been nice to get out of the sun for a little bit.

Judge Roy Scream - Ok ride in the front of the train. You might need a chiropractor after riding in the back. This ride offers no airtime on the drop and minimal ejector time on the hills, where it mostly just rattles you up and down painfully. It's a shame because it's the only wooden coaster here, my vote is for knocking it down and getting a newer gci or something to go out and back along the lake.

Batman: The Ride - First time I've ridden a batman clone. I wasn't impressed. Maybe it's the layout or maybe it's this specific version, but it was pretty rough in front and back seats, and also headbanging in the front seats. No airtime at all, just element after element with uncomfortable transitions. I'll be on SFGAdv's version in a few weeks so I'll have a better frame of reference, but I'm not a fan as of now.

Mr Freeze - 2nd best ride in the park! The loading process is slow but the duel platforms help a bit. Both days it was running with only every other row occupied. Anyone know why? My guess is that the launch does better with a lighter load, or it could have something to do with the heat. Either way the back seat is the best here, you're out of the tunnel and over the top hat before you even know what happened, and then there's those few seconds of hang time at the top of the tower before you freefall back down. It's a great ride.

The Joker - These freespins might be short rides but they are visually impressive and it's a pretty intense chaotic ride. I've never been on one of these or any other type of 4d coaster, so this experience was new to me. The flipping is relentless and honestly kind of hilarious in its ceaselessness and unpredictability.

Pandemonium - I skipped. It was closed part of one day and I really had no interest in it. I've been on the one at SFNE anyway.

Runaway Mine Train - This is a great old ride. It has some amusingly rough curves throwing you around in your seat, but it doesn't go fast enough to be painful. That final drop into the cave really surprised me too, it's not as gentle of a coaster as it looks!

Shockwave - Not much to say about this ride. It's alright. The lift hill seems like it's on its last leg, constantly speeding up and slowing down randomly. It's like the old man of steel roller coasters. I will say the double loops had some great Gs, obviously because they were very well designed.

I rode all these at least twice, but I skipped the kiddie coasters. I'm not really obsessed with getting credits. A few comments about some of the flat rides:

El Sombrero - This thing really needs some work. It runs fine but it looks like crap, the "cap" part of the sombrero in the center is dented in a bunch of spots and the paint is chipping all over. I can't believe park management can walk by that everyday and not be embarrassed by it.

Conquistador - Inexplicably closed, as it has been all year. It's a very well-themed ride and the centerpiece of the Spanish plaza. How hard is it to repair, there's only about a million pirate rides operating in the world. Park management should be embarrassed about this too.

El Diablo - These things terrify me but I force myself to ride them anyway. I HATE how slow it goes at the top of the loop and how all your body weight is on the shoulder restraints! This is also a 100ft tall version, it's one of the biggest rides in the park!

Texas SkyScreamer - This might be the most terrifying thing I've ever ridden. The SkyScreamer/WindSeeker rides have eluded me until now (CP's was closed on my last visit). 400ft in the air with some chains holding you up. I was stiff as a board the whole time at the top and pretty sure I held my breath the whole time too. Anyway I tried to focus on the horizon but the gusts of wind up there made that hard. In fact, the ride closed just a couple cycles after I got off due to high winds. Horrifying!

Catwoman Whip and Riddler Revenge - I don't know what's changed about me but these newer style big flat rides really do scare me. I love Enterprises, but the Zamperla Endeavor is not at all the same experience, it's much more intense. Same with the giant discovery, extremely intense ride for me.

Harley Quinn Spinsanity - This ride is visually appealing, but I was disappointed in how boring the Tourbillion is as a ride experience. It moves very slow and it's nothing like a Top Spin. Also the cycle they were running was very short despite there being barely anyone on the ride. Disappointing.

The Gunslinger - More like the "2nd Amendment Swings," this thing literally has pistols for supports. It's some nice theming but I'm surprised the woke police haven't come after Six Flags for the imagery yet.

Superman Tower of Power - Can't remember if I've ever actually been on a combo tower, I've been on one or the other though. I really enjoyed the multiple drops.

Overall, SFOT is a very attractive park. The little hamlets are very quaint and shady, which is good for hot days. But they're mostly devoid of rides and attractions, just a bunch of shops and restaurants, most of which were closed on my trips. Six Flags has also let the theming slide quite a bit; it mostly just feels like the whole park is Texas themed. I couldn't really tell the difference between "the Old South" or "Texas" or "Spain" or "Mexico." And a lot of the little themed items for photo spots were dilapidated; the blacksmith's hut had nothing in it but some crates covered in worn out blankets. Again, I think that management should be embarrassed that so many things are in bad shape around the park. To me it doesn't seem like it would be too much work to repair some of the little things.

The Aquaman site was being actively torn up by machinery during my trip. They had the whole shortcut path to SkyScreamer closed and the Train was also closed for the same reason. There was also another area near Texas Giant that was being worked on, I think it's where an old theater used to be. Looked like some concrete was being poured, maybe for some new food stands or something, it wasn't a large enough area for a ride I don't think.

Well that's all I got, let me know your guys thoughts. I'll probably do one of these for Carowinds in a couple days too, it's my coaster week!

Last edited by bjames, Monday, August 12, 2019 10:09 PM
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Monday, August 12, 2019 10:14 PM

I was there in late July (for my 40th birthday, ugh) and have a similar opinion of the park, though I had it as my home park for 11 years up until recently. I never got the love for Shockwave or Titan though I'm a wuss vs. positive G's. NTG still reigns as one of the top RMC's I've ridden because it doesn't throw in a bunch of unnecessary inversions for no reason.

SFoT is a great park, overall and I miss the huge rides, now that I have CGA and SFMW as my home parks (neither of which has any coaster over 150').

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Monday, August 12, 2019 10:24 PM

That Sombrero Ride has looked like that since the beginning of time. Well, for years, anyway, dents and all. It’s one of SFoT’s oldest rides, and may be an original with charter status. I also think it may have been Chance’s Trabant #1.

I like the park a lot and it’s similar to SFoG in terms of landscaping and overall appearance. I consider them to be the cream of the SF parks.

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Monday, August 12, 2019 10:58 PM

It's almost like BGW with its little villages. Except that Six Flags doesn't embrace the theming very well. Why is pizza being served in the French section? At BGW that's something you'll get in the Italian section and it makes sense haha. I did get some decent fajita nachos in the Mexican section though so I'll give them that.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:27 PM

Oh, Six Flags lost its eye toward proper theming a long time ago. Pizza in the “wrong” area is far from the worst offense.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019 12:17 AM

You picked two of the hottest days so far this year in the area to visit. We had a relatively mild June and July and the crowds have definitely tapered off in the last few weeks.

I think you're on the right track with Mr. Freeze. The rows are closed off because the heat causes issues with the LIMs.

I think the dented up cap on El Sombrero is part of the theme. It's looked that way as long as I can remember. That said, the ride could use a fresh coat of paint.

Conquistador - From what I've read on Facebook, an obsolete drive motor had to be replaced and installing involves a rewire job that they haven't been able to do while the park is operating.

The site where the theater was located looks like it's being prepped for a haunted house for Fright Fest. The slab that was poured looks to be pretty temporary and there's a tent up over it now. The slab was recently tied into the old temporary antique cars queue next door.

Your post about the themes blending together speaks for itself. The only thing in the France section is a caricature artist stand and I only know of pizza being sold in the large food court near Justice League and in the Old South area.

The park in general looks pretty rough. Trash where there shouldn't be, lots of stands closed for lack of staff and rides closed for that and repairs and/or construction. The park was hit really hard by flooding last fall when we had record rains. The part-time job market in Dallas has heavily favored employees for the last few years and finding help that will stick around is tough.

Great report. I always enjoying hearing what people from outside the area have to say about the park.

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Friday, August 16, 2019 7:48 PM

The site of the old Aquaman Splashdown (Hopkins Shoot The Chutes) ride is being cleared for the new Mack Rides: Power Splash coming in 2020.

The site of the recently demolished Lone Star Theater is indeed being used for a new haunted house attraction.

Last edited by Texas Thrillseeker #1, Friday, August 16, 2019 7:51 PM
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Sunday, August 18, 2019 4:11 PM

The El Sombrero is one of the oldest rides in the park, but there have been at least two Trabant rides in the park's history. The original "Mexican Hat" was the first model Trabant that had the floor in pie shaped sections. The drive system had two wheels with rubber tires. At some point, perhaps when the Hat was moved next to the El Conquistador, a newer model was installed. This Trabant had a floor consisting of four sections that folded up, two on each side of a trailer. The drive system had one wheel (rubber tire). Both of these rides were portable, trailer mounted models hidden by landscaping and themeing. When the Hat was moved to its third location it became a pit model on ground level with a concrete floor. It's possible the second Trabant was used. The actual hat part of the ride might be the original themeing.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019 4:41 PM

The model that's there now has 2 drive tires and so did the one at the 2nd location. A table tire underneath and a rim tire on the outside. I'm trying to figure out how the motion would work on a Trabant with only one drive tire.

Last edited by bigboy, Tuesday, August 20, 2019 4:42 PM
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Tuesday, August 20, 2019 7:24 PM

Wipeouts, although sturdier, have no drive tire.

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Sunday, August 25, 2019 9:08 PM

My memory is that the old style Trabant had two drive tires on the rim and the newer models have one drive tire on the rim. As far as I can remember, I've never observed what makes the turntable revolve. As RCMAC noted the Wipeout had no drive tires. The main point of my post is that I believe Six Flags has had at least two Trabant rides.

Last edited by Tom Keener, Monday, September 2, 2019 4:15 PM
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